An interesting narrative emerged from among the first couple of links in my inbox this morning:
Shaker RiderOnTheStorm sent an update on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil having called murder a raped nine-year-old's abortion to save her life and having excommunicated the little girl's mother and doctors. To the surprise of absolutely no one with two brain cells still knocking together, the Vatican has defended the decision and explicitly noted that the little girl's stepfather, who allegedly raped and impregnated her, would not be excommunicated, despite their presumption of his guilt:
[T]he accused stepfather would not be expelled from the church. Although the man allegedly committed "a heinous crime ... the abortion—the elimination of an innocent life—was more serious".The stepfather is also suspected of repeatedly sexually assaulting the girl's teenage sister, who is disabled.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, a senior Vatican cleric and head of the Catholic church's Congregation for Bishops, explained: "It is a sad case but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons, who had the right to live and could not be eliminated." This, despite the fact that the reason the abortion was granted in a country where abortion is otherwise illegal was because the little girls was pregnant with twins, which likely would have ruptured her uterus, killing her along with the fetuses. So irrespective of the fetuses' dubious "right to life," they wouldn't have fucking lived, anyway.
And from Iain, I received a link to this story about a 75-year-old woman who has been sentenced to "40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom" for mingling with unrelated men:
According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, troubles for the woman, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, began last year when a member of the religious police entered her house in the city of Al-Chamli and found her with two unrelated men, "Fahd" and "Hadian."The best thing that can be said about this case is that it may be slightly less objectionable than the gang rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes. (That sentence was eventually overturned under international pressure and one desperately hopes the same thing will happen here now that the story's being publicized.)
Fahd told the policeman that he had the right to be there, because Sawadi had breast-fed him as a baby and was therefore considered to be a son to her in Islam, according to Al-Watan. Fahd, 24, added that his friend Hadian was escorting him as he delivered bread for the elderly woman. The policeman then arrested both men.
…The court also doled out punishment to the two men. Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes; Hadian was sentenced to six months in prison and 60 lashes.
And Shaker Kathy sent me the link to this story, in which a man who stabbed four people to death is described as a "jilted lover" (including in the headline) and "scorned boyfriend." As Kathy points out, the definition of "jilt" is "To deceive or drop (a lover) suddenly or callously," so referring to this guy as a jilted lover (and scorned boyfriend) is to implicitly blame at least one of his victims. If only she hadn't had the unmitigated nerve to assert her autonomy and not stay indefinitely in a relationship she didn't want, she wouldn't be dead now!
Meanwhile, I read this piece over the weekend about a teenage girl who hanged herself after a former beau to whom she'd sent nude photos of herself distributed the images to their classmates, who then bullied the girl with taunts of slut, whore, and other shaming language.
Finally, Jess sent me a heads-up about the appalling findings of a British Home Office study on violence against women, like, for example, that 43% of respondents saying a woman is "partly" or totally to blame for being raped if she "flirted heavily" with her rapist beforehand, or 26% saying she's "partly" or totally to blame if is "out in public wearing sexy or revealing clothes":
Here's the point, in case anyone hasn't cottoned on by now: It doesn't matter if you're a raped little girl facing imminent death, or an elderly woman just being brought a bit of bread, or a woman who asserts her independence, or a woman who plays by the pornifying rules of the patriarchy, or a woman who looks good, or a woman who looks bad, or a woman who flirts, or a woman who turns a man away, or any kind of woman at all, really: No matter what happens to you, it's your fucking fault and you fucking deserved it, you dirty whore.
Sometimes it really feels like there aren't enough teaspoons in the world for this shit.
But there are. We've just got to get people to pick 'em up.